Ark. panel votes down ban on abortion funding

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A bill to block public money from funding abortions under federal health reform failed in a House committee - but its sponsor says he'll bring the measure up for reconsideration.

The bill by Democrat Rep. Butch Wilkins would block insurance under the Affordable Care Act from using taxpayer money to cover elective abortions. The measure needed 11 votes in the Public Health Committee but failed Tuesday on a 10-7 vote.

Attorney Bettina Brownstein of the ACLU argued the bill is unnecessary because the health care law doesn't allow for tax money to fund abortions.

Wilkins' bill makes exceptions for rape, incest and to spare the life of the mother.

Wilkins said he'll bring the bill back when more committee members are present.

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